Reviews, pictures, contact and booking details for the best South East Asian restaurants in Bahrain (Thai), part of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
Pad Thai, spicy green curry plus mango and sticky rice for dessert are staples on any Thai restaurant’s menu. But perhaps you’re looking for influences of Vietnamese or Malaysian? Time Out has visited each and every South East Asian restaurant listed to put them through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to discover a wealth of colours and flavours across the region so you can find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
Last year, this high-end fusion Asian restaurant scooped our most prestigious accolade – Restaurant of the Year – and this year it scoops the Best Asian award. And deservedly so. Since opening, the restaurant has introduced a new kind of fine-dining to the island, with an expert kitchen team, trained by notable celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, transforming regional classics into refined, beautifully flavoured and elegantly presented dishes. From the contemporary, 50th floor setting to the highly professional servers and buzzing atmosphere, re Asian Cuisine continues to set standards high on Bahrain’s restaurant landscape. This year, the team has also launched a leisurely Saturday brunch experience which is excellent. In general, a dining experience here is pricey, but for special occasions this restaurant comes highly recommended and is certainly one to visit.
Wok was once an excellent pan-Asian restaurant but since revamping itself as a 100 percent Vietnamese spot, it’s even better. Thanks to the Vietnamese chef, the food is beautifully presented, fine-dining fare, but entirely authentic and true to its roots. Everything from the salads to the pho is perfectly seasoned, boasting subtle yet spot-on flavours. Dim lighting, soft music and intimate table seating, either in the beautiful Asian-inspired main dining area or on the stunning garden terrace – this is why Wok is one of our favourites year after year. Meanwhile, staff are always eager to enhance the occasion – just let them know if you’re celebrating, and they’ll find a way to make your experience more special.
Art Rotana’s relatively new Asian restaurant boasts a spectacular setting with views across the beach to the sea giving you a seaside holiday feel. A variety of indoor and outdoor seating areas, with an overall chic yet casual atmosphere, adds to this vibe, leaving you relaxed. Wu, which means “five” in Chinese, offers a bevy of contemporary cuisine inspired by popular dishes from China, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Korea, and since opening late last year, the venue has launched a range of themed evenings and food deals, which have been drawing in the crowds for the value and quality of food. Aside from the food, we love the addition of a DJ who keeps up the contemporary vibes. A great place to go with friends.
This humble, street-side Thai restaurant, based in the heart of Gudaibiya (down the road from JJ’s Irish restaurant), serves some seriously good, authentic Thai street food for a very reasonable price. You’ll find all the classics are present and correct, from Tom Yum soup to Som Tam salad, and plenty more besides. Plus there are Thai variations on iced coffee and tea. Everything tastes fresh, flavourful and fearsomely spicy (although you can request less kick). And your friendly servers come armed with plenty of suggestions and tips on handling that spice. It’s an easy place to spot, thanks to the bright green signage and waterfall windows.
This casual eatery is well established in the Adliya area, attracting a diverse crowd who enjoy good value Thai cuisine and annually makes our guide. The setting is intimate yet vibrant, with indoor and outdoor seating options that look out over the bustling Block 338 restaurant district. Here, you’re literally spoilt for choice as there are perhaps too many options on the menu. Pages of traditional Thai fare are punctuated with fusion offerings. Expect your food to arrive freshly made, colourful and beautifully presented, well proportioned, and positively bursting with flavour.
Walking into scaled-back Thai spot Honey’s, it’s everything you could want from a hole-in-the-wall eatery; bustling, loud and packed. The menu is a giant tome of classic South East Asian dishes, much of which is tasty and authentic.
This Far Eastern fusion restaurant is worth the drive out to Al Areen Palace & Spa because of its stunning setting and romantic surroundings, which offer exceptional views from the garden terrace. A dramatic, canopied ceiling is overhead, while the considerate staff take care of you, while you enjoy a meal of delightful Asian fusion cuisine. Head there in cooler weather and make sure you book a seat on the terrace, which looks over the resort’s lush, neatly landscaped grounds. Service is outstanding, with friendly yet unobtrusive staff who are able to navigate the extensive menu and offer customised, spot-on suggestions. The eclectic food selection combines Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisines and desserts are a highlight.
The Polynesian décor, punctuated by bamboo interiors and low lighting, is warm and welcoming, but isn’t particularly reflective of the Asian-fusion food on the menu. Despite this, the sharing-style dishes are generally tasty and inventive, featuring strong and well-balanced flavours and fresh ingredients. Set next to the Diplomat Radisson Blu’s poolside, Kontiki is casual, relaxed and quiet in the week.
For no-frills dining and seriously authentic Thai food, this tiny place is a big success. The menu is extensive and comprehensive, with all your favourite Thai classics on the bill. Tom Yum soup, papaya salad, green curry – it’s all accounted for, and it’s some of the best in town.
Be transported straight to South East Asia when stepping inside this notable pagoda-style, Adliya-based venue. There’s always a buzz in Monsoon, thanks to its loyal customers who always return because of its consistently good food and stunning setting. The epic menu offers dishes from all corners of the region and, although it’s not particularly authentic, the choice is varied enough to satisfy all diners. It’s particularly romantic when dining in the intimate outdoor garden area.
From the makers of last year’s Highly Commended Budget Eatery, the Mexican-inspired Burrito Loco, Noodle Box has opened with a similar concept, this time Asian-style. Choose your handmade, hawker-style noodles, top quality, authentic fillings and deliciously flavoured sauce, and you have in your hands an excellent meal that proves quality doesn’t have to break the bank.
Nu Asia is renowned throughout Bahrain for offering a medley of tasty, affordable Asian dishes from across the continent. The multiple venues are casual and comfortable, drawing in a regular crowd for lunch and dinner. Flavours are always spot on and with such a wide variety of cuisine on offer, the menu caters to all tastes.
The menu at this quaint and charming Umm Al Hassam eatery, located near The British Club, is absolutely exhaustive, covering a range of classic, popular and authentic dishes primarily from three countries in Asia – India, Thailand and China. Whether you eat-in at the unassuming and comfortable venue, take away or even order for home delivery, Pan Asia offers tasty food and a good dining experience that will have you coming back when you’re hankering after a reasonably priced and easy-to-access Asian option.
Pagoda-style architecture and quirky ornaments emphasise the authenticity of a dining experience at The Gulf Hotel’s Royal Thai. While the décor is slightly outdated, it is still pleasant, set amid the hotel’s lush green grounds. With a new chef and freshly revamped menu, the traditional Thai food is even more impressive than in recent years, boasting a good balance of flavours throughout. For the great quality and serious value for money, it’s a shame this place isn’t busier.
Teatro isn’t international and it’s not fusion, but it is a collision of classic dishes from across the East and West. You’ll find sushi from Japan, salads from Malaysia, curry from Thailand, tikka from India. Then there’s pizza, pasta and risotto also on the menu. Thanks to chefs of varying nationalities, the team can pull off all these dishes and then some. Watch them at work in the open kitchens, while you enjoy a pleasant dining experience in a sophisticated, modern and brightly decorated venue that provides an intimate ambiance for dinner.
For a reliable and authentic Thai experience, Adliya’s Thailand is a solid choice. The traditional décor, complete with sunken tables and tatami flooring, is pleasant and the Thai servers are well versed on the food, having been there for years themselves. The menu offers a selection of classic dishes, encompassing the likes of pad Thai, Tom Yum soup and chicken cashew, which are all tasty and satisfying, plus very reasonably priced.